In June 2020 the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released a Pediatric Health Information Technology: Developer Informational Resource. The primary purpose of the guide is to assist electronic health record (EHR) software developers in improving their products to better support pediatric health requirements. The origin of this initiative is the 21st Century Cures Act which is Section 4001 calls on ONC to, “make recommendations for the voluntary certification of health information technology for use by pediatric health providers to support the health care of children.”
The United States is continuing its slow emergence from a nation-wide shut down imposed to slow down the spread of COVID-19. Most states have started to reopen, with bars, restaurants, and many workplaces starting to fill. As people begin to spend more time together again, it is critically important that public health agencies do everything they can to help prevent further spread of the infection and continue to monitor the level of infection within the population.
On June 10, 2020 the US Senate released a white paper titled “Preparing for the Next Pandemic” under the signature of Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee. The white paper has five recommendations to address future pandemics based on lessons learned from COVID-19 and the past 20 years of pandemic planning. “The five recommendations…along with a series of questions at the end of this white paper, are intended to elicit recommendations that Congress can consider and act on this year,” Alexander said in a statement, adding that “I am inviting comments, responses, and any additional recommendations for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions to consider. This feedback will be shared with my colleagues, both Democrat and Republican.” This feedback from the public will be accepted until June 26, 2020 and can be submitted to PandemicPreparedness@help.senate.gov.
Like many things in the age of COVID-19, the vaccine development landscape is unlike anything we have seen in our lifetimes. There are over 100 SARS-CoV-2 vaccines currently in development, many of which are utilizing new technologies not used in any currently licensed vaccine. The potential impact on immunization schedules (clinical guidelines for clinicians) and immunization clinical decision support is significant.
On March 9, 2020 the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) released its final rule on the 21st Century Cures Act: Interoperability, Information Blocking, and the ONC Health IT Certification Program. Referred to by some people as the “Information Blocking Rule,” since this is the primary topic, the document actually covers a host of other issues related to interoperability driven primarily by requirements of the 21st Century Cures Act. In addition to the final rule itself you can read the ONC press release, a comparison between the proposed and final rules, and lots of other resources. The final rule was officially be published in the Federal Register on May 1, 2020.